My @GXAustralia schedule!

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In a couple days I head over to Sydney Australia for the second, and sadly last GX Australia. 😦

We’re gonna make it a great time despite that y’all. I also promise not to fall for the whole Drop Bears thing 😉

Anyway, here’s my schedule for GX Australia, panels and talks in the auditorium will be streamed to Twitch (twitch.tv/gxaustralia) All times are AEST [Australian Eastern Time Zone] Convert to your local time via this handy time zone converter

The full GX Australia schedule: http://www.gxaustralia.com/schedule/ 

FRIDAY 7pm – ?? VIP Event Buckley’s

SATURDAY, 12pm, BIG ANT PANEL ROOM

“Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. – Self-Care Tips for Diverse Peeps”

SATURDAY, 2pm, AUDITORIUM

“Building Better Gamers”

SATURDAY, 3pm, AUDITORIUM

“Diversity 404: What Next?”

SUNDAY, 11am, AUDITORIUM

“Why A Customisable Character Isn’t Diversity”

SUNDAY, 12pm, DEVELOPER PANEL ROOM

“Destroying Tropes and Stereotypes In Games”

SUNDAY, 3pm, DEVELOPER PANEL ROOM

“Writing the ‘Other’”

SUNDAY, 4pm, BIG ANT PANEL ROOM

“How to Broadcast Safely as a PoC/LGBT/Female ID’d Streamer”

Now to get laundry done, make sure I have my ETS printed out and I try to get some sleep between now and Wednesday evening. Pics and such as I can because I’m going to try and get a SIM card once I’m there cause int’l data on my carrier is highway robbery y’all.

Up next for me, @ecgconf

ECGC17

Why stereotypes and tropes are not representation of the “Other”

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tuesday April 18th 

We’ve all seen and played games where People of Color (POC) are often stereotypes, or LGBTQIA characters are one-dimensional, and other identities don’t even get to exist for long. These portrayals are often flattened versions of what could have been a great character that added to the narrative of a story or the characters relationship to the world, the player and other characters. Using examples both good and bad, I’ll talk about why it’s better to do the hard work of fleshing out your characters rather than giving us flattened versions to play with.

Women in Gaming Tell All – Panel

6:15 pm -7:15 pm – Tuesday April 18th 

Panelists:
Heather Albano
Scarlett Dangerfield
Gina Grahame
Tanya DePass
Gabriela Aveiro

Women in Gaming is a trendy and important topic in the gaming industry. During this panel discussion, we will explore how the field is changing and will hear the personal success stories of five women working in gaming.

Sponsored by the Consulate General of Canada, this panel seeks to inspire the audience and encourage women to embrace all roles in the gaming industry. There are no limits to how far women can go and no assumptions on what positions they’re supposed to take on. Come hear five successful women speak about their work that is actively changing and improving the gaming industry for gender equality. This will be a panel discussion with Heather Albano, Scarlett Dangerfield, Gina Grahame, Tanya DePass and Gabriela Aveiro.

Catch @qgcon panels via Livestream this weekend!

Folks are always asking me if panels will be streamed when I go to conventions and conferences. Well luck is with you, as Queerness and Games Conference has you covered! They have two twitch channels:

twitch.tv/qgcon

twitch.tv/qgcon2

If you want to catch a specific speaker over the weekend, the schedule is below. Remember all times are in PDT (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) so -2 hours from CDT, -3 hours from EDT, -1 hour from MDT.

Saturday, 4/1

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Opening session: “Queerness and Video Games Today” – 2017 QGCon Organizers – SCI 106

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

Panel: “Getting Games Made (Right)” – moderator Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz – SCI 106
– Ashley Brown, “Cultural Differences in Creating and Financing a Serious Game for Sexual Health Project”
– Mo Cohen, “Navigating Self Care While Making Queer Quest
– Tanya DePass, “Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For”

Panel: “Consent and Control in and around Gaming” – moderator Josef Nguyen – SCI 108
– Stephanie Boluk, “Feminist Killjoys and Magic Circle Jerks
– Josef Nguyen, “Reframing Consent through Debates on Control in Games”
– Amanda Phillips, “Unruly Bodies: The Queer Physics of Fumblecore”

Workshop:Making the LGBTQ Games Archive” – Adrienne Shaw, Alayna Cole, Evan Lauteria, Christopher Persaud – SCI 206

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Break (light lunch provided for speakers and volunteers in SCI 201)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Panel: “Games and Community” – moderator Andreas Kratky – SCI 106
– Evan Conway, “Proud Labor: the Visual, Material, and Social Branding of a Queer Gaming Community”
– Amanda Cullen, “Who Watches the Overwatchmen? A Digital Ethnographic Case Study of Queer Overwatch Fans”
– Kate Ringland, “Minecraft as a Site of Sociality for Autistic Youth”

Post Mortems: “Making Queer Games” – moderator Archie Prakash – SCI 108
– Josie Noronha, “Consideration In Your Core: A robo-tea! Postmortem”
– Yifat Shaik, “Humor on Behalf of the Ridiculous”
– Kara Stone, “Ritual of the Moon Post-Mortem: Queer Narratives, Mental Health, and Time”

Workshop: “Creating Positive Queer Characters” – Michael Wilde – SCI 206

Round table: “People of Color in Game Development and Community” – facilitator Tanya DePass – SCI L114

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Design KEYNOTE: John Epler, introduced by Jasmine Aguilar – SCI 106

“The Privilege of Default: Unconscious Biases in AAA Games”

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Panel: “Queer Movements through Space and Time” – moderator Alenda Chang – SCI 106
– Maureen Engel, “Go Queer: A Ludic, Locative Media Experiment”
– Miguel Penabella, “The Politics of Driving Queerly: Policing Movement and Urban Spaces in Roundabout
– Lisa Yamasaki, “Playing Queerness in Life Is Strange

Open microtalks: You! Any and all attendees are invited to sign up to speak for 5 minutes on the topic of their choice. – SCI 108

Workshop: “Pedagogy for Social Change” – Irene Chien, Jen Malkowski, Jane Pinckard – SCI 206

Workshop: “Make a Zine with the L.A. Zine Fest” – Rhea Tepp and Kenzo Martinez, L. A. Zine Fest – SCI L114

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Micro-talk session: “Out of Sheer Spite” – Kris Ligman, Tanya DePass, Innes McKendrick, Zoe Quinn, Dietrich “Squinky,” Squinkifer, Carli Velocci – SCI 106

Post Mortems: “Queer Game Creation” – moderator Gordon Bellamy – SCI 108
– J.C. Holder, “Jamming Along to Game Jams: An ILU Game Jam Post-Mortem”
– Emilia Yang, Downtown Browns: Diversifying Interactive Media and Mapping Oppression”

Info Session: “Getting into Queer Game Studies” – Bonnie “Beaux” Ruberg, Teddy Diana Pozo, Whitney Pow, Claudia Lo – SCI 206

Sunday, 4/2

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Post Mortems: “Gender, Identity, and Game Design” – moderator Allison Comrie – SCI 106
– Michael Annetta and Erin Reynolds, Nevermind Post-Mortem: How a Cis Team Approached a Trans Story”
– Steve Cha, “Design as Drag: Performing Identity via Autobiographical Game Design”

Talk: “Orcs and Bowsers and Bara, Oh My: The Complicated Case of Monstrous Queer Male Bodies,” Todd Harper – SCI 108

Round Table: “Invisible Gender and Sexual Identities in the Queer Community” – moderated by Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer – SCI 206

11:15 am – 12:30pm

Academic KEYNOTE: T. L. Taylor – SCI 106

“Play as Transformative Work”

12:30 – 1:00pm

Break (light lunch provided for speakers and volunteers – SCI 201)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Panel: “Representation and Character Creation” – moderator Melinda Stang – SCI 106
– Dan Gardner and Josh Tanenbaum, “Charting Performative Possibilities in Games: A Large-Scale Census of Characters and Representation”
– Rebecca Stimson, “Beautiful Monsters: Building Space for Queer Gaming in Monster Factory”
– Aaron Trammell and Nicole Crenshaw, “The Damsel and The Courtesan: A History of Gendered Game Design”

Panel: “How Queerness (and its Intersectional Themes) have Shaped our Experiences as Student Game Developers,” Ryan Bobell, Jocelyn Kim, Heather Robertson – moderator Margaret Moser – SCI 108

Workshop: “Imagining LGBTQ History through Games: A Game Design Workshop in Collaboration with the ONE Archives” – Loni Shibuyama and Chelsea Howe – SCI 206

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Panel: “Identity and Resistance” – moderator Richard Lemarchand – SCI 106
– Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, “Resistance through Play: Latinx Indigenous Culture”
– Niamh Schönherr, “Cute Games: Using Icelandic Krútt Music to Understand Revolution and Resistance in Alt/Queer Games”

Panel: “Academic Perspectives on Development, Industry, and Code” – moderator Derek Burrill – SCI 108
– Eric Freedman, “Engineering Queerness in the Game Development Pipeline”
– Aleah Kiley, Cheerleaders and Martyrs: Feminists and Queer Women in the Indie Industry
– Claudia Lo, “How RimWorld‘s Code Defines Strict Gender Roles”

Workshop: Supporting Queer Students as Game Makers & in Games Studies in the Age of Trump, Amanda Phillips, Alexandrina Agloro, Rachel Burton, Jezz Lucena, Hong-An Wu, Klew Williams, Josef Nguyen – SCI 206

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Panel: “New Queer Perspectives” – moderator Vicki Callahan – SCI 106
– Emily Marlow, “Subverting the Heteronormative (?) Jesus in Video Games”
– Kaelan Doyle Myerscough, “I’m Taking Care of You: Pharmercy and Sensation in Video Game Romance”
– Whitney Pow, “I’m sure your woman-arms will be able to lift it: Queering affect, interface and phenomenologies of privilege in Anna Anthropy’s Realistic Female First-Person Shooter

Panel: “Queer Design” – moderator Virginia Kuhn – SCI 108
– Matthew Balousek, “Racist Bridges and Smelly Horses: What Is a Queer Game?”
– Heidi McDonald, “Don’t Fear the Queer: Audiences Are Ready”
– Klew Williams, “Trojan Horse Narratives: Sneaking in Queer Stories”

Workshop: “Diversity Backwards and Forwards” – Sarah Schoemann – SCI 206

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Closing Session: The Future of Queerness and Games2017 QGCon Organizers – SCI 106

Next weekend kicks off a super busy month for me!

I’m doing sooo much stuff in April, but it’s cool and I’m excited even if I’m a little tired just thinking about it. That means streams will be sporadic and not on the usual Tues/Thurs/Saturday schedule.

Here’s what I’m up to starting next Friday:

April 1 & 2: Queerness and Games Conference  Los Angeles, CA

I’m doing three things!

1) Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For 

2) Microtalks: Out of Sheer Spite

3) Facilitating a round-table on POC in the industry

April 8: GenVidCon, Gender and Videogames  Keynote speaker, San Jose, CA

April 12: Let’s Talk Gaming!  Montreal, CAN

April 17: Guest Lecturer at NCSU

April 18-20: East Coast Games Conference, Speaker in Career track. Raleigh, NC

April 21-23: C2E2, Panelist  Chicago, IL 

My panel schedule for C2E2

29 & 30 April: GX Australia, Boss of Honor , Sydney, Australia

Almost time for @Official_GDC! Here’s all the things I’m up to

Here’s things what I am doing at GDC & Adjacent spaces!

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Monday – Attending the Gaming Accessibility Conference! #GAConf

About the conference:

Disability is a mismatch between a person and their environment, resulting in barriers performing day-to-day tasks, including gaming. These barriers are often unnecessary. Accessibility simply means avoiding those unnecessary barriers. This often means reinforcing how information is communicated, and offering players some flexibility, both of which often translate into a better experience for all players.

Understanding and implementation of these principles has been growing at an exponential rate, making 2017 a perfect opportunity to take stock and exchange experiences and expertise.

Attendees can expect a wide range of topics from all sectors of the industry – indie to AAA, academia to accessibility specialists – and leave with inspiration, new contacts, and practical knowledge of how to ensure their vision is able to reach as wide a range of players as possible, so no player is unnecessarily excluded from the access to culture, recreation and socialising that gaming brings.

Tuesday – Going to panels and I’ll be on the One Life Left & Gamasutra Live stream at 1:15 PST! Check it out at twitch.tv/gamasutra

Wednesday – LGBTQIA in Gaming lunch sponsored by Xbox  and going to talks.

Thursday – ALL THE THINGS! Attending the Women in Games lunch sponsored by Xbox, then I’m co-facilitating  a Roundtable for Diversity Advocates & Community Organizers with Rebecca Cohen-Palacios of Pixelles!! my first time speaking at GDC!!!

Then I’m attending and speaking at the Blacks in Gaming Green Room event sponsored by Xbox, hosted by Kahlief Adams of Spawn on Me podcast.

Friday – I may just collapse in a heap after such a full week, but there are talks I wanna see and take notes on!

I leave omfg why did I ever book a flight so fucking early on Saturday morning but I am trying to change my flight to a decent human hour. If I can’t oh well.After a few days home, I head for Boston and PAX East on March 9th.

Remember no livetweeting of talks this year, sorry but not. It’s too stressful, and I don’t need to be harassed on twitter when I’m trying to enjoy a talk.

I’m part of the Fireside chats happening at the Blacks in Gaming event during @Official_GDC

If you’ll be at GDC, I’m speaking at the Blacks in Gaming event, sponsored by Xbox! details and RSVP link in this post. Excited to have Kahlief Adams host this event and chat with him again!

blacks-in-gaming-event-gdc

Xbox is once again proud to partner with the Blacks in Gaming (BiG) organization to host the 12th annual BiG Green Room during the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco . Join us to connect & network with other game creators, developers, writers, artists, and more. Enjoy private listening sessions with industry veterans as they share insights from their work on popular games and gaming technology. We look forward to seeing you there!

Register on Eventbrite today!

FIRESIDE CHATS

Hosted by:
Kahlief Adams
Host, Spawn on Me Podcast
Kahlief was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. As an avid technophile and lover of all things videogames, he set his career path in the direction of a life making games until he found out his arch nemesis, “Math,” had other plans in store. So instead of making the next Tetris, he found himself writing and talking about games on his website The Spawn Point Blog and The Spawn On Me podcast.

Kahlief and the Spawn On Me podcast have been featured on Fast Company, Black Enterprise, Kotaku, IGN & Gamespot for their discussions around race, politics, and people of color in the videogame industry.

Featuring:

Tanya DePass
Founder & Director, I Need Diverse Games
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives.

Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She’s the founder and Editor In Chief of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. She’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games and other publications.

Gordon Bellamy
Visiting Scholar, University of Southern California
Advisor, The Wave VR
Previously, Gordon served as Chair of the Board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) as well as the Executive Director of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), the game industry’s trade organization. Gordon has also worked at Tencent, THQ, Activision subsidiary Z-AXIS, and Electronic Arts, where he was named the company’s Rookie of the Year for his work on the best-selling Madden Football franchise. He was recently honored by Nickelodeon for his lifetime of contributions to the video game craft.

Gordon develops strategic business partnerships with video game publishers, social media developers, and technology partners. He earned a BA degree from Harvard College in engineering, where he was also a John Harvard scholar and an AT&T/Bell Labs Engineering scholar.

Trammell Ray Isaac
Art Director, BossKey Productions
Trammell is currently an Art Director at BossKey Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is gearing up for the release of “Lawbreakers”. Also known as T-Ray, he started his career as an animator on Blood and Magic and as the lead artist on Fallout and Fallout 2. Among other things, he is responsible for designing the Vault Boy in Fallout. He has worked at Sony Online Entertainment as art director on the original Planetside series and on PlanetSide 2 at Daybreak Games. In 2005 he joined Obsidian Entertainment, where he worked on Neverwinter Nights 2 as lead artist. After leaving Obsidian, he joined 3DRealms to work on Duke Nukem Forever in 2006.

Craig Campbell
Director of Talent Acquisition, Microsoft
Craig is the current Director of Talent Acquisition for the Microsoft Windows Devices Group, which includes product groups such as Xbox, Surface and Hololens, to name a few. In his current role, he leads the strategic direction and execution to connect the dots between business priorities and talent priorities that put his business partners in scoring position.

With more than 15 years of experience with companies including Amazon, Dolby Laboratories, Starbucks and MGMMIRAGE, Craigs diverse range of experience has allowed him to develop a strong recruiting acumen, grounded in data driven insight and inclusive hiring sensibilities.

Favorite Game: Currently working on the development of party game called “That’s My Jam!”

My @qgcon schedule!

I’m excited to give a talk at this year’s Queer Games Conference in LA!

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Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For

Abstract:

The games industry has not done POC players, or characters well since the first square smacked a paddle in Pong. As the industry has grown, non white characters have been left behind, or left out entirely. From being absent in genres outside of sports and first person shooters; the gaming landscape has been very pale outside of 2016, where we finally get three black leading men.

However, the reception to the three whole black leads we’ve gotten in games has shown that while the industry has slowly begun to join the rest of us in realizing they are not just leaving money on the table, they are ignoring a large part of their player base that is clamoring for representation from smaller indie studios all the way to AAA blockbusters.

I’ll examine who’s playing games, and dissect responses to the very slow creep towards more diversity by looking at Hangar 13’s Mafia III, UbiSoft’s Watchdogs 2 and EA’s Battlefield 1; how they represent POC and attempt to find out why we’re just getting black men as leads in some franchises, but not women of color, LGBTQIA or other marginalized identities in the lead role.

11:15 AM 1 April, 2017

Micro-talk: Out of Sheer Spite

Abstract:

The title “Out of Sheer Spite” is meant to evoke a line from Maria Bamford’s stand-up routine: “If you stay alive for no other reason at all please do it for spite.” It’s intended to capture not only the feelings of hopelessness that often accompany being a queer person in games (or anywhere) but also the frustration and anger that many of us transmute into motivation to keep going.

In this session of micro-talks, speakers are invited to interpret the theme in any way they like. Coping strategies, abstract musings on the long arc of human history, personal narratives, etc. Speakers include: Kris Ligman, Aevee Bee, Innes McKendrick, Zoe Quinn, Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer, and Carli Velocci

5:30 PM 1 April, 2017

.@OrcaCon is in a few days!

Ahhh it’s finally almost here! OrcaCon is this weekend in Everett, WA! It’s my first time being a Guest of Honor and I’m super excited. 

2017orcacon_title

Here’s my schedule:

Friday, January 13th, 2017

AVOIDING RACE FAIL AT YOUR TABLE – 8:00 PM

A brief primer aimed at players in case they want to RP a character outside their experience. (I’m moderating)

Saturday January 14th, 2017

IT’S OK TO NOT UNDERSTAND: IGNORANCE CAN BE CURED 12:00 PM

A lot of designers, GMs, and players feel uncomfortable with issues about sexuality, inclusivity, and anything else that goes past their world view or experience level. Let’s talk about how to help people learn, and more importantly, feel comfortable about what they don’t know or understand.

BEYOND THE 101: A DISCUSSION OF DIVERSITY IN GAMING – 7:00 PM

We know diversity is an issue in gaming, so let’s move beyond the 101 and talk about some practical ways we as a community can move from theory into action. (I’m moderating)

GENUINE REPRESENTATION: RESPECTING CULTURAL IDENTITY – 9:00 PM

The topic of Cultural Appropriation and Minority Representation is a daunting subject to broach. But it is a worthy discussion to have. With people’s identities at stake, emotions can run high and it is easy to get disheartened. This panel discusses what it means to be a writer in these times of heightened cultural awareness.

Creators walk a thin line, they have to balance their vision to the potential offense of others. But we don’t have to sacrifice artistic freedom in the process. How do we represent culture genuinely? And how that is distinct from an “accurate” representation? We will discuss the answers to these questions, as well as talk about what approach Warding Circle took when developing Mysteries of the Yōkai as a group of non-Japanese creators.

Sunday January 15th, 2017 

TWITCH 101 AND STREAMING SAFELY – 1:00 PM

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

 

My @OrcaCon schedule!

Here’s the panels I will be for OrcaCon next January 13-15, 2017. It’s my first Guest of Honor gig and I’m excited and nervous for it.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Avoiding Race Fail at your Table – 8:00 pm

A brief primer aimed at players in case they want to RP a character outside their experience. (I’m moderating)

Saturday January 14th, 2017

It’s OK to Not Understand: Ignorance Can Be Cured  12:00 pm

A lot of designers, GMs, and players feel uncomfortable with issues about sexuality, inclusivity, and anything else that goes past their world view or experience level. Let’s talk about how to help people learn, and more importantly, feel comfortable about what they don’t know or understand.

Beyond the 101: A Discussion of Diversity in Gaming – 7:00 pm

We know diversity is an issue in gaming, so let’s move beyond the 101 and talk about some practical ways we as a community can move from theory into action. (I’m moderating)

Genuine Representation: Respecting Cultural Identity – 9:00 pm

The topic of Cultural Appropriation and Minority Representation is a daunting subject to broach. But it is a worthy discussion to have. With people’s identities at stake, emotions can run high and it is easy to get disheartened. This panel discusses what it means to be a writer in these times of heightened cultural awareness.

Creators walk a thin line, they have to balance their vision to the potential offense of others. But we don’t have to sacrifice artistic freedom in the process. How do we represent culture genuinely? And how that is distinct from an “accurate” representation? We will discuss the answers to these questions, as well as talk about what approach Warding Circle took when developing Mysteries of the Yōkai as a group of non-Japanese creators.

Sunday January 15th, 2017 

Twitch 101 and Streaming Safely – 1:00 pm

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

 

On the expectation of free labor to diversify your spaces

[Copy/Pasted from an early AM twitter vent this morning 12/21/16]

I’m in a mood, and I’m irritated. I want to talk about value of work, specifically diversity work & people’s expectation of free labor. So I’m lucky, and in a good position where sometimes people come out the gate with what are your rates & fees? This does not always happen though, don’t get excited. Like I said I’m in a good position.

However…there’s the pervasive idea that we should provide our expertise, our skills and knowledge for little or no pay. How about no? A lot of places want to be seen as progressive, diverse and doing the right thing but they don’t want to invest time & resources. Or they think it’s as simple as invite a few brown folks and a queer person, give them top billing one year & we’ve done it! Uh no.

web-analytics-my-1-if-you-built-it-they-will-come

See, we can see right through that bullshit. Especially when your convention committee doesn’t change, your policies don’t change. You can’t put the current hyper visible POC in your field up as your diversity! And expect us to flock to your event. Again, we see you.

Here’s my main gripe though. Reaching out to people to get help but not offering compensation at the same time.

It’s always “Let’s have a coffee, let me buy you lunch and pick your brain…”

This isn’t about greed either. This is about valuing someone enough to “pick their brain” but not enough to pay them.This is doubly true when you expect someone to help with event they may attend but won’t offer some kind of comps or payment.  Helping the community is great, but it doesn’t negate the value of that persons time.

Even asking someone to take the time to chat with you, have an email exchange or Skype call should be considered work.I think it comes down to people not seeing it as “real” work. Also, acting as if someone asking for compensation is wrong? Or insinuating they don’t actually care because they wanna eat?

Nah, we all got bills and if you want my time & expertise? FU Pay Me. Nobody expects teachers to work for free, or other laborers so why us? Because a lot of the work is emotional labor. To unfuck the ways that events and orgs have failed on representation is a lot hard work y’all. So stop asking for free labor under the guise of doing better. Improvement takes effort, time and money. Investment not hollow promises.

When you ask someone on how to do better, ask what their preferred compensation method is. Fucking pay people for their time.

fuckyoupaymeartprintfromgeekcalligraphycom

 Fuck You Pay Me available from Geek Calligraphy, purchase one for your workspace!

Last thing, think real hard on how you react to black Womens, lgbtqia & other folks asking to be paid vs whites.Look at all the extra shit people want from us to prove we’re worth the time, effort & money to support. Look at how angry people get when we dare to say our time & knowledge is valuable. Y’all have seen it, people bring accused of running scams, that we should help for $0.

However, white folks come up with the weirdest shit for a kickstarter or crowd funding that overfunds but we can’t make the minimum.So if I’m bitter? It’s with damn good reason. Tired of being told the work is valuable, needed but when we ask for help? Support is nil. TL;DR, stop asking people for free work. Value our skills enough to offer payment when asking for said work. Exposure kills, it’s not money, not valid currency anywhere.

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this. It probably won’t be the last either. As long as people continue to undervalue, or assume no value for the hard work that is required to achieve better representation, more diversity and make it stick; we’ll keep having this damn go round and around until people get it.

Other writings I’ve done on this topic & related issues: 

You Wanna Diversify huh? That’s Nice, Pay Us

On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Thoughts on diversity, conventions & cost

Emotional Labor, OT edition for POC, LGBTIQIA & others — Fandom edition

Marking a year of…changes.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of getting canned from my day job. At 1 pm this day last year, I was in tears, unsure about everything. I’d not been back one day from GX3, before I got that call to come into a conference room. Where I was given a bullshit reason & let go.  When I say BS, I mean ex-boss tried to reach back 3 years to justify her actions. If I’d been that bad an employee for that long…wouldn’t I have been gone long before that? Even if she thought she had given me so many chances, or whatever lie she told herself to justify what she did.

No one would let someone in my position screw up that long term & still have a job. Also who cans someone 10 days before xmas? But yeah, I was in tears in a cab that I shouldn’t have gotten but I wasn’t thinking clearly. Was too angry & frankly? Hurt.  It also didn’t help that I’d just got back from a trip, didn’t have a lot of extra money & due to timing? My last check was for 6 days. I had to go through a bunch of hoops with unemployment too. It took a month but finally got that going.

No lie, though I was gonna be homeless once unemployment ran out or before. Those two weeks right after we’re pretty bad.Worse than I let on in public that’s for sure. But y’all came through. People who believed in my work helped me out. Always grateful. I looked for work for a while before I realized I could try to do full time. It had become a second job anyway.

So I did the thing, and it’s worked. Somehow, it’s worked. Patreon is covering rent & a couple bills. Been very lucky to have travel paid.It’s been hard and I’ve wanted to quit so many times over the past year. So many. But I’m still here. I’ll stay here too cause I’m ornery and it’s been too much work put in to give up. Long as I can I’ll fight.

Thank you, every single one of you who’ve held me up when I’ve fallen or stumbled. Who’ve been a voice of reason when I was lost. Thanks to those who pushed against me. Can’t grow without a bit of pain or misstepping. Not perfect & I’m doing the best I can. Thanks to anyone who’s invited me to panel with them or accepted an invite from me to join a panel with me. To anyone who’s taken a pitch and published me.

Thanks to all my Patrons, those who’ve sent some much needed funds my way in the clutch. Or bought me a ko-fi. Thanks for a year of support that I would haven’t thought possible before. For tears, laughter & friendships made & lost.

Thank you. Here’s to another year. Thanks y’all, I mean it from my heart 💜💜

On the value of black women’s work

So yesterday I couldn’t sleep and twitterpated all over about the Safetypin box and the reactions to it. Notably that some dude bro who didn’t know anything about the creators (Leslie Mac and Marissa Johnson)

I collated those over on Medium for anyone who wants to peep  that first. On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Today, I had more twitterations on the idea that Safetypinbox HAD to be a 501 c 3 charity or people felt uncomfortable with where the money was going. IE These two black women can’t be trusted. Those thoughts and some more to follow because I am fed the entire fuck up with how people want the benefits without realizing the human cost behind it. What follows are my tweets c/p from 12/6/2016.

I keep seeing people throw out that *should* be a 501(c)(3) charity. Because that gives *them* comfort somehow. Let’s talk.

One, if this was charity work then fine. It’s a service however. Says so right on the website.

spb-not-a-charity

Go read it over, then come back.

Two, do any of these people talking about how easy it is to become a 501(c)(3) know anything about the process? At all? Guessing that’s a no. If you have to file the 1023 form, (30 pages long btw)have the $400 or $850 filing fee & get it done quickly? 180 day window for decision.If you qualify for 1023 EZ filing? Still $275 & 180 day decision window. So it’s not easy to start a charity. But that’s not the issue here.

The real issue is two black women have done the same thing white activists are lauded for & y’all mad.

They are putting a dollar value on the free emotional labor that people expect of black women all day, every day. I should just start posting the requests to pick my brain, get a cup of coffee to get a read on something I get re: games diversity. Y’all expect black women especially to do this heavy lifting for the good of the community, for free cause it’s better for all.

Fuck that

It’s unsurprising to see who has some shit to say in the face of black women going fuck you, pay me for my time & knowledge. Like people who go follow black women, expect to be educated & have their ignorance lifted but won’t drop a tip or support their Patreons. Out here treating us like Hazel, like we’re supposed to hold your fucking hand & let you sip from the Chalice of Wokeness for free!

Nah, we all gotta live. Stop devaluing our labor, our knowledge & expecting a handout to rise beyond your ignorance. Google is free y’all. So stop acting like we’re asking for too much when we say pay up for that time you asked us for. We value our work, our expertise. Since you asked for our help? You must value it too. So put your money where your mouth is or be quiet.

I salute you y’all for getting that money

That said, I had the usual rando’s and well, actually’s roll through my TL. Once I was properly up and about, I had a few thoughts on the people who follow me on various sites, say they learn from me etc. Yet, people don’t value work all the same. Even had someone who inferred I was saying pay me to tweet.

I got nothing to say about that except that added 2+2 and got yarn. If anyone following me thinks that’s where I was going, then leave now. Ain’t nobody said pay me to tweet. For those curious I said the following:

So I’m up and I been thinking. Remember when I asked people why they follow me? Realize what the majority of answers were? To recap: Because they learn something, because they get a POV unlike their own. I.E they get value from my tweets.

Or the articles I write and share here, or the collated, nicely bundled and edited twitterpations I put out on Medium. Still with me? I have over 6700 followers (for now, watch I drop some after this tweet). Some are bots that will drop off & don’t count. Let’s be generous and say 1500 are not real accounts that haven’t dropped off. That leaves over 5500 people reading what I have to say daily.

If half those folks dropped a donation or even supported my Patreon at $1 each? I’d be A-OK. But I guess there’s a line for some. Ok. Same for other black women on here & other platforms. People listen but they ghost out when we pass the hat or ask to be compensated. [this is where some people got stuck and probably thought I was saying pay me to tweet. Which I wasn’t but whatever]

I’m mad but I’m also tired, tired of the expectation of free labor from some. Not everyone does this but it happens too often.

Here’s the thing, no one is obligated to do a damn thing. Ain’t nobody gotta follow me, or donate or support me on Patreon. Point was it would be great if the same people who say they learn from what I say, who say they enjoy my work and consider the other things I do off twitter to be important would throw some coins my way.

It’s been almost a year since I lost my day job, just 9 days away from that anniversary so I’m probably noticing this more keenly than usual. But I’m real tired of black women’s work not being valued. For POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/Neurodivergent folks to have the burden of free emotional labor dropped on them but when they ask for compensation? Then they’re greedy, not helpful, scamming… it goes on and on.

Just tired and full of thoughts that needed to get out. Consider what you are asking when you ask us for that coffee chat, a quick lunch or a few minutes of our time. The cost is usually higher than what you think.

 

 

Semi-infrequent reminders of how to support my work

Hey y’all! Here is a handy post on how you can support my work. A lot of people say they love what I do, and want me to keep doing it, but hey bills don’t pay themselves, Comcast won’t wait for their money and the cat needs kibble, I need food, y’all know how it goes.

The straight up, no bullshit thing is; if I have to go back to a regular 9-5 gig then I Need Diverse Games will die off. I cannot maintain that work, do conventions and other things with a regular gig AND do the level of work for INDG that I am now and have it still be a thing I am proud of, that I got to where it is now along with friends and supporters. There’s a separate patreon for I Need Diverse Games, but this post is about ways to keep a roof over my head so I can continue to do this full time.

Luckily, there’s a few ways to help keep me afloat.

               patreon_logo_black Patreon – patreon.com/cypheroftyr

Why I’m on Patreon:

#INeedDiverseGames is my full time job thanks to being abruptly let go from my previous employer in December 2015. I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money, it usually costs me what little I had to spare when I was employed. To survive, pay my rent and keep fed, along with the cat, etc I need to ideally pull in at least $2000 a month, but to truly have all bills paid, be able to attend conventions, etc I need to hit a goal of about $3K a month. I outlined this in a recent post on my blog, and I’ve copied some of that below.

Ideally I would need at least $2000 – $3000 a month coming in to cover the following:
Rent $925 a month [Goes up to $950 on October 1st]
Bills, including internet, electricity, cooking gas, etc. ($650)
Pet costs ($125)
Groceries ($300)
Transit costs ($100 a month, unlimited rides on CTA)
INDG related Travel & Doing cost of business expenses (which could also be pulled from INDG for specific reasons/conventions)

If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time.

I’ve got a decent social media presence, almost 5900 followers on twitter, over 1500 on tumblr, the I Need Diverse Games tumblr has over 7K followers. If even half my twitter followers pledged $1 a month, I could do this without worrying too much about money and keeping a roof over my head.
Maybe you’re thinking a monthly commitment to $X in support isn’t your thing, you can’t but you still want to help? I’ve got a paypal.me button (and no shame) if you’ve got some loot in your pocket that would help out I can give it a good home.
paypal me logo
paypal.me/cypheroftyr

 

Lastly, I like to write! I’ve written quite a bit and if you’re in a position to pay for articles, opinion pieces or maybe need some diversity consulting done, that’s another way to help support & keep me working! I also go to conventions, and if you have a local con and/or a way to get me to a not-so local event, you can send that info to me via this page on my site.

 

Final @PAX West schedule!

PAXWest

Here’s my final panel schedule for PAX West, which is next week! EEP!

If you don’t see me running around from panel to panel, then I’ll be at the I Need Diverse Games table in the Diversity Lounge.

Diversity Lounge PAX West

As always, have a handy, 100% free guide to interacting with me in meat space at conventions. https://cypheroftyr.com/cypherinteractionguide/ 

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

Tell incredible stories. Host amazing games. Strike fear in the hearts of players. Veteran game professionals Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games), Amanda Hamon-Kunz (Pathfinder RPG), Ryan Macklin (Dresden Files, Fate), Rodney Thompson (Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars Saga Edition), and F. Wesley Schneider (Pathfinder RPG) answer all your tabletop roleplaying game questions and share tips for taking your game to the next level.

Panelists include:

  • F. Wesley Schneider [Editor-in-Chief, Paizo Inc]
  • Amanda Hamon-Kunz [Developer, Paizo Inc]
  • Tanya DePass [Creator, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Rodney Thompson [Senior Designer, Bungie]
  • Ryan Macklin [Indie Creator, The Ryan Macklin]

 

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

Gaming has a problem with being inclusive and with diversity. While industry is working on it, discussion can generate an ideological divide. We will start to move beyond this with good, hard data: demographics, how often people have unwelcoming experiences, what impacts that has, and how people have made change. We will involve the audience to check our collective assumptions and see what quantitative empirical evidence says about diversity in gaming and about how to improve inclusivity.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Founder, INeedDiverseGames]
  • Trevor Murdock [Founder, Planeswalkers for Diversity]
  • Glenn White [Director of Marketing Infrastructure , EA Games]
  • Matt Baume [Host, Sewers of Paris Podcast]
  • Aurora Walker [Instructor, Ladies Learning Code]
  • Cherisse Miranda

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

We think of video games as an escape from political campaigns and presidential elections, but games have a long history of reflecting the world around us. Come join Aevee Bee (ZEAL), Austin Walker (Giant Bomb), Katie Williams (PC Gamer) Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games, Fresh Out Of Tokens), and Zach Alexander (Games and Food) as we discuss the history and future of politics in games.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Austin Walker [Editor, Giant Bomb]
  • Aevee Bee [Editor-In-Chief, ZEAL]
  • Katie Williams [Freelance Journalist, Critic]
  • Zachary Alexander [N/A, N/A]

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

Sexy or Stupid? The Great Video Game Sex Scene Debate – NSFW Content, 18+ PANEL

Sensual, smutty, or silly? Video game sex scenes are often one or the other… or even all three! Come join a group of game industry professionals as they dim the lights, play some smooth jazz, and offer their expert critique on a few of gaming’s more explicit moments. Then cast your vote for what’s hot and what’s not! DISCLAIMER: actual panel may not involve dim lights or smooth jazz. (Want something a bit more innocent? Check out our companion panel on romance scenes in games)
Panelists:

  • Michelle Clough [Co-Founder, Writer, Editor, IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG]
  • Chris Avellone [Writer, Designer, Freelance]
  • AJ Glasser [n/a, Facebook]
  • Tanya DePass [Founder, Community Organizer, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Matt Baume [Writer, Filmmaker, Freelance]

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm Hippogriff Theatre

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

Games are finally starting to reflect their diverse players with more types of characters, scenarios, and approaches to gameplay. Whether it’s writing a one-eyed pansexual bull and his trans lieutenant; featuring non-white main characters; showcasing the female option in marketing; creating an entire cast caught in a web of gender, sexuality, and ability; acquiring unusual indie titles; or keeping the conversation going; it’s crucial. Hear from those who did it and how they’ll do it again.

Panelists:

  • Patrick Weekes [Lead Writer, BioWare]
  • Hilary Heskett Shapiro [Sr. Brand Manager, Bethesda Softworks]
  • Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows [Creative Director, Gorgeous Robot]
  • Arden Ripley [Writer/Developer, Date or Die]
  • Steve Gee [Senior Manager, Developer Relations, Adult Swim Games]
  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]

 

Sunday September 4th, 4:00 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

Ever wonder how to create and play games your way and still be an awesome ally? Is this even a thing? In this panel, we discuss the awesomeness that is our gaming community and unpack what it means to make it inclusive. What are we doing well and where do we need work? We’ll look at these questions and how it benefits everyone. To follow with a #realtalk Q&A.

Panelists:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Kathryn Storm [Interaction Designer, Xbox]
  • Bryce Johnson [Interaction Designer, Microsoft]
  • John Porter [PhD candidate, Human Centered Design and Engineering, UW, UW]

June Update – xposted from Patreon

INDG Twitch Banner

Hey y’all,  hope everyone is well out there. First off thanks for the support especially those who stayed around through the ups and downs of end of May/beginning of June. Support was close to $1200 a month, then dipped dramatically after signal boosting some other folks, which I can’t control but it’s really saddening to have support yanked from me for merely linking to others work.

So what have I been up to? Too much actually 😦

March, April and May were pretty non-stop including PAX East, Penguicon, Wiscon, a local Star Trek pop culture conference, speaking at a class at my alma mater along with Jenn C, paneling at the Science Fiction Writers Association  (SFWA) conference in Chicago and the Chicago Video Game Law Summit; also in Chicago.

Thankfully June is much quieter, with just CONVergence at the end of the month, and Podcast Movement at the first weekend of July and I’m pretty much done with conventions until PAX Prime in September, Praise Andraste.

There’s been other stuff going on, least of which is some severe burnout, thus the slowing to a crawl progress on a lot of things I’m doing. I put out a call for help on the #INeedDiverseGames side and have gotten some offers which I need to reply to this week.

ICYMI, one article I did put up here and eventually out in the gen population of my social media is So You Want to Describe a POC Character?

So what’s coming in June on here in terms of writing and such? Not sure actually, I’ve been really struggling with that lately even when given a topic. I’m working on a paid piece so that’s taking my focus a bit.  I’m trying to do more original video content, but that’s a steeper learning curve than I expected 😦

So if you’re supporting at the $10 level and above, drop requests below and now that I am not so omgwtf I just need  ten naps busy I should be able to write something if not by the end of June, then definitely in July.

So that’s what’s up with me and life right now. To be frank, I’m burned out at both ends but I’m muddling through and without everyone’s support I couldn’t keep a roof over my head for the last six months. So thank you, thank you for your continued support.

It means the world to me and is literally keeping me safe, dry and housed.

*Header image by Alamarri on tumblr. Please give her a shout and if you need artwork done, she’s lovely.

Next up on the convention go-round, SFWA Nebula Conference

nebulaspostcardfront20161-360x257 For the first time ever, even with the Nebula’s being in my back yard, I’ll be paneling at the SFWA Nebula conference.

Thanks to Mary Robinette-Kowal for inviting me to attend and be on panels this year.

Schedule below, and I’ll be wandering around all three days as well. I have panels on Thursday and Friday

Thursday, May 12th, 3:00 pm

The Future of Racism

The past’s virulent racism against the Irish has now faded to linguistic artifacts like “paddy wagon” and “red-headed stepchild.” What traces will present-day racism leave behind, and what new forms of racism will emerge?

Jennifer Cross [M], Me, Liz Argall, Michael R. Underwood

Friday, May 13th

Social Medial Puzzle Pieces 11:00 am

There are approximately 12 billion social media sites, blogging platforms, and other online tools that someone, at some time or another, has told writers they must be on or must be involved in. How do you avoid letting social posting tke over your life? There are tools that make automatic cross-posting easy and/or give you the flexibility to set up multiple updates and schedule them. Learn which of these tools is most effective, best practices for cross-posting, and what behaviors to avoid.

Tanya DePass [M], Mikki Kendall, Shane Halbach, Althea Kontis

Podcasting for Writers 4:00 pm

Have you been asked to be a guest on a podcast? Appearing on popular podcasts is a powerful marketing asset, especially if you sound as good as the hosts. Which tools do you need to sound your best when calling in via Skype, Google Hangouts, or over the phone? And if you’re interested in starting your own podcast, what should you use to record, edit, and distribute?

Tanya DePass [M], K. Tempest Bradford, Kate Baker, Tina Connolly

 

#trekDePaul –

I’ll be speaking on panel “Debating the Future: Otherness and Privilege in Star Trek”! on Saturday, May 7th at a Celebration of Star Trek.

Join us at this free event for a full day of panels discussions, screenings, games, events, masquerade, music, comedy, and hear from our special Keynote Speaker Brannon Braga! And more!
This is open to the public! Visit www.mcsdepaul.com/a-celebration-of-star-trek.html

Contact: popcultureconference@gmail.com for more information!

13043623_916069455177421_1957008451804441132_n

Tanya is a long time gamer, fangirl, fan-ficcer and spawn point of the‪#‎INeedDiverseGames‬ hashtag. She enjoys talking, reading and writing about gaming diversity, feminism, race & racism, fandom as a way of life and many other topics. She often streams on twitch and podcasts over at Fresh Out of Tokens with David Reeves.‪#‎trekdepaul‬

Doing all the things! March update [Reposted from Patreon]

Hi all,

First off thank you for your support this past month, I appreciate every single Patreon, from everyone at the $1 and up helped keep me housed, the cat fed, internet and electricity on so I can do this work.

So what have I been doing eh? A lot more streaming for one thing. I’m up to 3 times a week on my main, personal channel [twitch.tv/cypheroftyr] and 1x a week over at I Need Diverse Games. [twitch.tv/INeedDivGames] Much streaming, many hours with a controller in hand. I also made aDiscord server/community so if you want to hang out you can!

I set up a GameWisp subscription thinger on Twitch, but I’m not sure what to do to entice people to subscribe to me there. From what I understand it’s like Patreon for Twitch. You have levels, and people can sub starting at $3.99 a month up to whatever levels and rewards you put up.

I’ve also been prepping for GDC because it’s the first time I’m going with an All Access pass and having to be, I dunno I guess present and accounted for to make sure our #INeedDiverseGames scholarship recipients get there, have a good and educational time, etc. It’s a bit daunting to do this but it’s really gratifying to know that 25 people got to go to GDC via INDG! 😀

Still podcasting with a great lineup of guests in the coming month or so. Martin Sahlin from Unravel Game, Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds, Mel Fleming from Bioware who does localization, Elsa Henry who does game dev and is a GoH for OrcaCon 2017! I did get a better mic for podcasting and streaming, so improved quality for the win.

Also, thanks to the funding we got in January, I’m able to go to a lot more conventions this year. This personal patreon is strictly for living expenses, and the INDG Patreon + funding is for expenses there so no worries on that front about where you money is going.

Conventions I’ll be at this year [confirmed]:

  • PAX East – Doing two panels
  • Penguicon – Paneling, Featured Guest
  • Nebulas – Local, Doing panels
  • Podcast Movement – Local, attending only
  • DePaul Celebration of Star Trek – Local, Paneling
  • WisCon – Paneling, Guest of Honor Liaison, Programming Co-Chair
  • CONVergence – Paneling, Invited Guest

Unfortunately I won’t be at MidAmerica Con II aka Worldcon, because of money and uncertainty about where things will be later in the year.

Writing is the one thing I’ve failed at doing, especially posts for folks at the $10 level and up. Doing the prep for a lot of things has sucked up my time but I’ve also been stressed about …everything. It’s not an excuse, it’s what’s kept me from even fulfilling a couple paid writing things for publication.

I’m looking into alternative rewards for folks at the $10 level, so suggestions welcome. Its that or I need to put write rewards for Patreon on my calendar and not let it budge no matter what.

It’ll be a bit quiet here in the next couple of weeks as I prep for travel to SF for GDC, then spend a couple extra days crashing on a friends couch to have some downtime before I get back to Chicago and two conventions back to back in April, a lot of travel and socializing.

Thank you again, all of the support, kind words and signal boosts are appreciated ❤

Tanya

2016 Convention things…

I started to call it a schedule but changed my mind. A lot of the programming for cons I’m going to isn’t finalized yet. So if you go to these cons; there’s a damned good chance I’ll be there.

 Game Developers Conference

March 14 – 18, San Francisco, CA. Attending and being point person for our group of INeedDiverseGames Scholarship recipients. Also working with Diversi and others to collab on some kind of social event for our awardees.

Looking forward to finally meeting some folks I know only from online, and seeing John Epler and Patrick Weekes talk about DAI Trespasser, along with Jennifer Hepler’s summit talk on narrative.

Penguicon

April 29 – May 1, 2016 Southfield Westin, MI Attending as a Featured Guest. Schedule is still up in the air as to panels.

Penguicon is a non-profit, community-run convention for open source software and hardware, science fiction, gaming, DIY, and more.

WisCon 40

May 27 – 30, 2016, Madison, WI

I’m a Programming Co-Chair and GoH Liaison for Nalo Hopkinson, returning Guest of Honor for Wiscon 40. Programming is still being decided, but I’ll not be on as many panels as I was last year. 😐

CONVergence

June 30 – July 3, Bloomington, MN Participating as an Invited Guest! Schedule is up in the air as to panels.

 

My @AlterConf Chicago talk is online

Well, my talk is up have a video of me talking about Why we Need Diverse Games

Why we Need Diverse Games by Tanya C DePass

A short talk on how the hashtag hit a nerve with the gaming community at just the right time, and continued on to become something tangible, something that people were interested in. Diversity in gaming is not a new topic, but the tag seemed to renew that interest.

This talk will cover the last few months of gaming news, diversity, where things seem to be headed, and conclude with what we can do to be better digital denizens of the gaming sphere.
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNINGS: Possible discussion of GamerGate

Very proud to announce that I’ll be at @IndieCade as part of the Gaming For Everyone Diversity Pavilion sponsored by @Intel

The Gaming For Everyone Pavilion

presented by Intel

IndieCade Banner

So the news I’ve had to sit on for a bit is that #INeedDiverseGames/Fresh Out of Tokens have been selected as one of 10 participants for the Gaming For Everyone Pavilion at #IndieCade15!!

We’ll have a booth in the Pavilion, equipment set up by Intel and signage. My podcast co-host David L. Reeves and I will be at #IndieCade15 October 23-25th at the Pavilion. Come by and say hello!

We’ll have swag of some kind, a way to sign up for blog and podcast updates from us and info on what we’re doing for #INeedDiverseGames & our future plans.

So please come by, say hello and tell us what we can do to better serve the gaming community by way of the site, social media sites, podcast and other means.

Thank you so much to #IndieCade15 for this fantastic opportunity!
Pavilion Dates: Friday, October 23 – Sunday, October 25
Location: IndieCade Village, 9300 Culver Blvd, Culver City

We’re excited to announce a brand-new initiative taking place at IndieCade Festival 2015 – the Gaming For Everyone Pavilion presented by Intel!

At IndieCade, we are constantly inspired by amazing people in the independent games scene who work to make gaming a better place for everyone. As a way of supporting these great efforts, we will be featuring up to 10 organizations, groups, or individuals that focus on initiatives promoting underrepresented groups and their presence in gaming and game development. This includes efforts focused on gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, age, disabilities, and much more. We salute Intel for generously supporting these initiatives while working with us to develop this Pavilion.

Wiscon 2011 and how the emoon situation is making me rethink attending

So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.

The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with [personal profile] karnythia this evening.

1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.

2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that’s my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]

It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.

I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…

I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.

I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.

NAFSA Day 0

My not so exciting first day in MN: Sooo… after discovering I had the dumb yesterday and left way too fucking early for my flight (i thought we were on the 12:15, we were on the 1:00 actually) being more than concerned about traveling on a holiday and worrying if my colleague and I would be able to board, [We bought her ticket under her middle name and the assholes at UAL wouldn’t do anything but say oh well see what happens at the airport!] we wound up with two hours to kill at O’Hare.

We found a Chili’s, had a Marguerita’s and then wandered to the correct gate. Short flight, made me wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to drive… but considering that an hr flight versus a 7 – 8 hr drive plus the parking, gas, etc clearly made the flight the winner. After a couple of thumps during descent we got off, found our other colleague and headed over to the hotel.

Our room wasnt ready, since the conference housing people had decided to change JD’s hotel to a single room without notifying him, considering he’d said a 2 bdrm suite for 3 adults. *huff* it did give us a chance to find a good sushi place, eat and catch up with each other. We checked in at the conference, got our buttload of materials, and then finally got checked into the hotel.

Tis a lovely suite, and it has free wi-fi, a kitchen, and even a full dining area. *squee* I conked out early, actually at the conference hotel where we went for some cocktails in the evening. I didn’t snore thankfully but I did nod off at the table and was entirely out of it on the way back to the hotel.

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NAFSA Day 1 & Gen. Colin Powell’s speech

NAFSA Noob!

NAFSA Day 1, or I R a NOOB

Well the first full day of conferencing was intimidating and overwhelming. There are over 7,400 hundred people here! Over 104 countries are represented too. O_O! After missing a connection with some folks at Campion College in Australia, I went to the newbie meeting and then was kind of lost on where to go, what to see and what to do in such a huge expo.

I finally decided to check out the International Education expo in the main hall, and it was cool but a little bit of a shock in terms of sounds, colors and people. After finding a few colleagues, we walked a while to find this place Beat Box Diner, which is a literal greasepit. The tagline on the menu says “Turning Grease into a feast for over 60 Years!”

Have to admit though, it was one of the best grilled ham and cheese I’ve had in while. We found a better rought back to the Convention center, and I went to a Project Management talk for short term study abroad programs. It was good but a lot of what they suggested, we already do that… but we did get some good ideas.

After this session, we we’re herded over to the hall for the plenary speaker, Colin Powell.

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NAFSA Update days 2-4

Soo.. here’s the recap of my last few days in MN.

NAFSA Day 2: Day two wasn’t as omfg overwhelming as Tuesday was. I actually got a few good sessions and had lunch at <a href=”http://www.masa-restaurant.com/”>Masa</a&gt; a trendy, quite over priced “contemporary” Mexican place. My one little enchilada and rice was about $12.00 O_o!

They get an A+ for presentation, F- for value.

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